Mille Lacs County Times

Posted: 10/18/07

Andersen Foundation
celebrates 50 years of giving

The Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation celebrated 50 years of community giving with a luncheon on Friday, Sept. 14, 2007 at The Lexington in Saint Paul. In 50 years, the Foundation has given over $8 million in grants to over 400 organizations.

The Foundation was established in 1957 by the late former Minnesota Governor Elmer L. Andersen, Eleanor Andersen and the late Tony Andersen. "A golden anniversary is a time to honor the past, salute the present and herald the future," noted Julian Andersen, son of Elmer and Eleanor, and president of the Foundation. "In the spirit of the founders, we honored a representative group of grant recipients, a group that mirrors the Foundation's legacy of philanthropic giving." Featured in the luncheon program were a former H.B. Fuller Company/Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation Scholarship recipient and representatives from four long-time grant recipients of the Foundation.

The value of education has been reflected in the Foundation's giving throughout its fifty years. In 1959, an H.B. Fuller Company college scholarship program, administered by the Foundation, was established for the son or daughter of an H. B. Fuller Company or subsidiary company employee. Elmer Andersen, followed by Tony Andersen, was long-time president, chairman and CEO of the H. B. Fuller Company.

Allen MacKnight, the first scholarship recipient (1960) related to luncheon attendees how much the scholarship meant to his family and his future. Dr. MacKnight is currently a Corporate Fellow at Honeywell Aerospace in Torrance, Calif. He has held various technical management positions and has six patents. His principle activities are in the area of space life support, power systems and aircraft environmental control technologies development. The Foundation continues to support educational efforts in the Twin Cities area.

Reflective of the values and interests of the Andersen family are the other focus areas of the Foundation: the arts and humanities, communications, the environment, human services and libraries. At the celebratory luncheon, presentations were also made by representatives from the Minnesota Historical Society, the Andersen Horticultural Library at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Children's Home Society and Family Services, and Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association. Each organization provided institutional history, reflected on comparisons between past and present, and told of future plans. In honor of their community efforts, each organization was awarded a $10,000 grant in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation.

The Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation is a nonprofit, grant-making foundation with a purpose to enhance the quality of the civic, cultural, educational, environmental and social aspects of life primarily in the metropolitan area of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The first meeting was held on Dec. 10, 1957. In 1958, an amount just over $6,000 was given in grants to community organizations. In 2006, a total of $269,000 was awarded.

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Mille Lacs County Times
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